The Cultivated Self: Engaging Nature in the Gardens of The Ambassadors
The Henry James Review
Henry James grounds the representation of consciousness in an ecological aesthetics. Complicating first wave ecocriticism's method of naive mimesis while qualifying poststructuralism's privileging of textuality, this essay shows nature in James to be real and potent, if bound and collaborative with culture. James situates nature in European gardens, environments that model the intricacy and scope of Jamesian social and epistemological relations. Focused on The Ambassadors (1903), this analysis traces Strether's evolution through four intratextual garden scenes, showing how they link back from as they look forward to the Lambinet landscape analepsis, the germ and the consummation of Strether's transformative narrative.
Locate the Document
Wolf, D. (2019). The Cultivated Self: Engaging Nature in the Gardens of The Ambassadors. The Henry James Review 40(1), 63-81. Johns Hopkins University Press.